Each day we enter some kind of social interaction (unless you live in the forest in which case the red-backed deer-tick does not count). In the course of that interaction we form opinions about the other person based on their behavior, courtesy, responses to questions, and personality. Often times these perceptions are based largely on assumptions, a way for our mind to fill in the blanks when we possess incomplete information.
I’d like to challenge you to buck assumptions.
It’s difficult, it really is. Assumptions save us brain-power and are an adaptation that allows us to make decisions without full information when survival is necessary. But outside of the damn jungle, their use is questionable. A rude checker may be a jerk, or he may be having a bad day. What does this assumption get us? A lack of compassion for our fellow man.
Further more, I’d like to present you with a thought:
Perception is a mirror. Truth is a window.
More often than not, our perceptions and assumptions about others are reflections of the same toward ourselves. Conversation and intimate knowledge of another leads us to the truth of their character and circumstances, while our judgments reflect on our experiences and beliefs, filtering truth into a different color.
This can be a powerful tool, observing our assumptions and understanding them so as to better comprehend how we feel about ourselves, but we’ll tackle that another time. Today, let’s start the day off fresh. Shirk your assumptions and listen. Allow yourself to be surprised and question whether your judgments are based on facts. The worst that can happen? You become a better listener, even for 24 hours. That’s nothing to balk at.
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